The political cannabis lobbying front has seen a dramatic shift, with cannabis firms replacing advocacy groups and wealthy individuals to become the principal funders and bankrollers of recent legalization efforts.
Cannabis industry businesses are now strategically backing initiatives to limit markets and push competitive advantages. News sources report that this shift could see new priorities and new limited-license markets in adult-use states, a massive leap from previous advocacy-driven campaigns that treated marijuana like alcohol.
Marijuana Legalization Campaigns Raise Almost $20 Million
The shift in funding sources recently saw adult-use legalization campaigns in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, and North and South Dakota raising almost $20 million. The change from advocacy groups, which once focused on fair and equal treatment for a class of “demonized citizens,” sees a possible time of avoiding tax and industry regulations and the emergence of a burgeoning industry.
This could subsequently affect future legalization efforts within the US, where adult-use cannabis remains prohibited. It could also affect small cannabis businesses that compete with larger competitors.
Marijuana Industry Companies Are Now Stepping Up
The shift is seeing the passing of the torch and, with it, a different focus. Advocacy groups have now shifted their focus to other pressing matters, including decriminalizing other drugs and the legalization of psychedelics.
Alternatively, cannabis companies are set to move forward with legal change. However, according to experts, mixed results from the elections held in November underscore potential risks that may come with industry companies stepping up.
.A possible push for limited-license markets may see these cannabis companies risking support loss from activists and the packaging of home-grow allowances and social equity provisions with legalization laws.
Considering this, more industry-driven legalization measures and voters are being put into efforts to reject legalization measures. A more refined focus is being placed on market structure and the finer details of legalization bills.
From Then To Now
Previously, prominent funders, including MPP, the Drug Policy Alliance, and civil society organizations, focused more on treating cannabis like alcohol and less on social justice components. Back then, the focus was less on license caps and taxation too. Now, more organized businesses are taking a more direct approach based on priorities. The general public believes that advancing legalization is now the responsibility of the marijuana industry.
News reports added that the industry now sees businesses striving for future revenue and marketplaces rather than health or human rights.
Looking To The Future
Looking to the future, approaches of cannabis companies may see business considerations prioritized at the disadvantage of social justice goals. However, some believe that more established marijuana companies might balance market share and profit desires with social justice considerations. The future will tell what will come from a significant shift like this.